If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson

Austin Interfaith Environmental Network | Your Congregation CAN Go Solar! | October 7, 2014

Many of Austin's houses of worship would LOVE to protect Creation by installing solar panels, helping to meet their energy needs in a green, renewable way! Yet many of these same congregations have yet to take the plunge. If you belong to one of these "on the fence" communities, then you know that the best intentions can get bogged down in all kinds of confusing questions:

  • How can we deal with the startup costs?
  • How much will we really save on our electric bill?
  • What's the current status of rebates and other government incentives?
  • How can Austin Energy help us?
  • What are the congregational politics of such a project and how can they be dealt with?
  • How do we choose a contractor?

Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin Has Answers!

Solar Installation
St. David's Episcopal, Austin

Early Solar Installation Photo
Congregation Beth Israel, Austin

Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin is proud to present our Fall Symposium:

What: Symposium: "It's Time For Your Congregation To Go Solar!"
When: Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Where: St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th Street, Austin, TX

The evening's program will feature:

  • Leslie Libby of Austin Energy on installing solar.
  • Volunteer solar project leaders from three Austin congregations telling the stories of their community's journey to solar energy.
  • Time for discussion and visits with representatives of three solar contractors who have completed congregational projects in Austin:
    Meridian Solar, Lighthouse Solar and Texas Solar Power
  • Fellowship and networking with members of other congregations!

Texas Lutheran University Environmental Justice Symposium: Sept-Oct, 2014

The theme of Texas Lutheran University's annual Krost Symposium is "Environmental Justice: Texan Responses to Global Crises," and examines how people are impacted by their environment. All events will take place at Texas Lutheran University, 1000 West Court Street, Seguin, Texas 78155.

The symposium will take place in four segments:

  • September 3-4, 6
  • September 17-8, 29
  • October 8-9
  • October 27-28

Check out www.tlu.edu/krost for a full list of speakers and events for each segment.

Creation and Spirituality Event, September 9, 2014


From: San Antonio Interfaith Power & Light and Compassionate San Antonio

Primary Contact: Diane Duesterhoeft | dduesterhoeft@gmail.com | 210-254-0245

CREATION AND SPIRITUALITY: Awakening a Passion for the Environment in People of Faith

What do the major faiths teach us about our relationship with the earth?

On Tuesday, September 9, Dr. William Greenway, Associate Professor of philosophical theology at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, will address this question from an open Christian perspective that focuses on values shared by Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and other great faith traditions of the world. A warm and engaging speaker, Dr. Greenway will allow ample time for questions and discussion on how people of faith can engage in meaningful care for the gift of creation.

The evening is presented by San Antonio Interfaith Power & Light and Compassionate San Antonio. It is being hosted by St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 4201 DeZavala Road, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in anticipation of the upcoming Encyclical by Pope Francis on caring for creation. The evening is free and open to the public.

For more information on the sponsoring organizations, go to http://sacompassionnet.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/SanAntonioIPL.

Texas and the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan is a new EPA proposal for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Currently, there are no national limits on the amount of carbon pollution these plants can pump into the air. The electric power sector is responsible for nearly 40 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution in the United States.

The Clean Power Plan proposed rule would:

  • Reduce CO2 pollution 30 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030;
  • Avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days—providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits; and
  • Shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.

State-Specific Goals

The plan sets state-specific goals for reducing CO2 emissions from the power sector in order to allow the states flexibility in meeting the reductions targets.

There are many ways states can cut their emissions, including:

  • Installing new clean energy such as wind and solar power   
  • Shutting down high-polluting coal plants
  • Improving the efficiency of fossil-fuel power plants
  • Making homes and buildings more energy-efficient
  • Enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution

A Look at Texas

Texas emits the highest amount of carbon pollution in the country. In the plan, Texas is expected to reduce its carbon pollution by 39 percent by 2030. Because of our use of wind and natural gas, Texas is already moving closer to the new EPA target.

The Texas Tribune reports on how Texas could meet the EPA's proposed carbon reduction goal here.

What’s Next?

New Extended Deadline! The EPA is now accepting public comments on the Clean Power Plan through December 1, 2014. You can learn more and submit a comment here.

Should the proposed Clean Power Plan go into effect, each state would need to submit its individual proposed plan by June 30, 2016.

For more information, visit:

EPA Carbon Pollution Standards home page.

The EPA Clean Power Proposed Rule page, which includes links to more information and fact sheets.

Interfaith Power & Light statement on the proposed standards 

(Photo ”Wind Turbines” by User Nuala used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.)

Watch the Energy Star Webinar Featuring Jerry Lawson Now!

Archived Energy Star Webinar Featuring Jerry Lawson Now Available.

Click "Read More" to watch the video stream now!

Original webinar post here.

Read more in the Action Workbook Summary and learn what's new in Portfolio Manager.

To learn more, you can download the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations now.
More resources are available in the Workbook for Congregations Appendix.

2014 Memorial Day Tax-Free Weekend on Energy Efficient Products

Announcing 2014 Memorial Day Tax-Free Weekend on Energy Efficient Products

This Memorial Day Weekend is a great time to invest in reducing your energy use. ENERGY STAR announces Memorial Day sales tax exemption for select energy efficient items. Eligible products meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The tax-free weekend begins Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. 

All qualifying products will be labeled with the ENERGY STAR logo. They include:

  • Air conditioners ($6,000 or less)
  • Refrigerators ($2,000 or less)
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers 
  • Dishwashers
  • Programmable thermostats

(Note, Clothes dryers are not included)

Please visit the ENERGY STAR website for more information.

Interfaith Environmental Network's Letter To Austin-Area Congregations

The city of Austin is beginning a conversation about its energy future, and TXIPL's Austin affiliate—the Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN)—wants to ensure that the faith community has the information it needs to participate in this important conversation.

On Monday, March 3, 2014, IEN mailed the following letter to over 300 Austin-area congregations:

Download the letter here. (Right-Click and choose "Save Link As...")

Houston IPL Presents an Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event, March 30, 2014

People of all faiths, or no faith at all, are invited to join with Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims to care for our shared environment on Sunday afternoon, March 30th, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship by working to create a garden in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Houston. The garden is a program of Almighty Ministries, an organization that empowers at-risk youth from impoverished communities through free after-school programs and summer camps.

The after-school program, Youth Going Green Community Garden, educates youth on developing gardening, leadership and social skills, while providing nourishing food. The garden is located at 4706 Idaho in Houston.

This event will offer garden activities for all ages and skill levels, including building a tool shed, creating more garden beds and another compost bin. Sponsoring organizations include: Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Congregation Brith Shalom, GYAN (Green Yatra Action Network) – a project of the Living Planet Foundation, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, and Almighty Ministries.

Contact Lisa at gcs.lrc@gmail.com or 713-372-7345 for more information or to sign up to help.

Webinar: Introducing ENERGY STAR's New Action Workbook for Congregations

The webinar is over, but you can watch the recording here.

Want to help your congregation be a faithful steward of God's creation and save money at the same time? The ENERGY STAR program helps congregations save money and prevent pollution. Join us for a special webinar to introduce the new ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations from noon-1pm on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

On the webinar, Jerry Lawson—National Manager of the ENERGY STAR Small Business and Congregations Network of the EPA—will guide us through the new Action Workbook, and will be available to answer your questions.

Read more in the Action Workbook Summary and learn what's new in Portfolio Manager.

To learn more, you can download the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations now.
More resources are available in the Workbook for Congregations Appendix.

TXIPL Goes to the White House to #ActOnClimate

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, TXIPL staff Bee Moorhead and Yaira Robinson will attend a special White House "Faith-based and Community Leaders Addressing Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change" meeting. The event will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live between 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. central time.

In addition, you can follow the conversation on Twitter and post questions during the event by using the hashtag #ActOnClimate. Find Bee's twitter feed at @BeeMoorhead and Yaira's at @YairaRobinson. Feel free to send them your questions and comments throughout the program, too! 

TXIPL looks forward to participating in this meeting, and to bringing information back home to Texas.